Distance: 4560 metres, Ascent: 225 metres, route map
This is something of a favourite although I’ll admit to some personal bias as I live not far from the finish.
Start at the car park on Luddenden Lane, head north round the corner and swoop up New Road. Well, that’s the theory. In practice you won’t be doing too much swooping as it’s a tough grind and you’ll need to keep your wits about you as it’s a congested little street with lots of parked cars. If you time it badly you may need to stop to let traffic through. These problems disappear when the road swings round to the left towards the top when it becomes Solomon Hill but by way of compensation it gets even steeper.
Fortunately, the pain is short-lived and the rest of this ride is a pleasure. Firstly, you need to thread your way through the pretty little village of Midgley.
It’s a small place but almost all of it is on the one road so it stretches out for about a kilometre. Keep on going at the end of the village and after the junction with the road that plunges downhill to Mytholmroyd you’re onto Height Road.
If you’ve got the energy you can pick up the pace now as the gradient is quite gentle. be prepared though for some fabulous views though ahead and down to your left. Finally the road stops climbing and there’s even a slight downhill. Don’t stop yet as there’s one final climb. Follow the road round to the right by the Mount Skip B&B and get to the top of the rise and pull in at the layby and enjoy the view. In the distance is Stoodley Pike overlooking the upper Calder Valley. On the opposite hillside is the village of Heptonstall and in front of you is Old Town, or as some of us like to call it – home.